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Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Laurence Strong

Belgian order of Leopold ll

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Laurence,

These are very attractive awards.

After only a passing interest, I abandoned Third Reich awards a few years ago (but paperwork still fascinates me). My main interest lies in Imperial German documents and the more common awards, but I have been led astray by some French and British awards and documents of the 1914-18 period.

With the exception of a victory medal, I still have nothing to represent Belgium's part in the Great War. This is another collecting field that is sorely tempting.

Do these awards date from that period or are they more recent? Were these awarded for merit or valour? Do you have examples of any award documents?

David

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Generally, the Order of Leopold II was given for long service as well as merit, similar to the Prussian Red Eagle and Crown Orders in peacetime.

The Knight's Badge shown above is bilingual, so post-World War Two. Here is a French-only version, as awarded from 1900 to 1950:

IPB Image

Here is an assortment of World War One medals - the Yser Medal, the Frontline Service Cross, the Commemorative Medal of the Campaign 1914-1918 and the World War I Victory Medal:

IPB Image

The second one, the Frontline Service Cross, is also called the Fire Cross (Croix de Feu / Vuurkruis) and to me is one of the more striking Belgian medals.

Last is a War Cross (Croix de Guerre / Oorlogskruis). This is the World War One version, similar to Laurence's in the other thread:

IPB Image

Edited by Dave Danner

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Dave,

Thanks for showing those awards, which are the sort of approximate front-line soldier's "equivalents" that I am looking for to match the German ones I have.

How do the earler and later Croix de Guerre types differ? Specifically, which are typically for 1914-18 and which are much later?

What are the other differences between the earlier and later orders apart from the language?

Many thanks in advance,

David

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Dave,

Thanks for showing those awards, which are the sort of approximate front-line soldier's "equivalents" that I am looking for to match the German ones I have.

How do the earler and later Croix de Guerre types differ? Specifically, which are typically for 1914-18 and which are much later?

What are the other differences between the earlier and later orders apart from the language?

Many thanks in advance,

David

Other than adding the Flemish "Eendracht maakt macht", the orders are unchanged, but manufacturing variations show up over a century and among different jewelers/makers.

The War Cross for WW1 and the one for WW2 have different ribbons and different ciphers on the reverse. WW1 has the cipher for King Albert, and the WW2 version has that of King Leopold III. The palms also have ciphers.

For the Korean War, the WW2 version of the War Cros was used, but after 1952, the cipher on the palm was changed. Originally, it was two Ls, the second one reversed, with the III in between, but after 1952 it was changed to a cursive L.

I would recommend to you Hendrik Meersschaert's web site for more information: http://users.skynet.be/hendrik/index.html

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Hendrik   

Hello Laurence,

Just joined the forum and came across your Leopold II knight cross. I don't think the gilding wore off : knight crosses are silver/silvered bronze ... more likely to be patina.

Cheers,

Hendrik

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Hendrik   

Hello Stijn,

Nice to be talking English with you for a change :lol:

Yes, see you tomorrow but the :beer: may go wrong as I have guests at home in the evening ! Raincheck seems to be in order there ...

C U

Hendrik

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Hello Stijn,

Nice to be talking English with you for a change :lol:

Yes, see you tomorrow but the :beer: may go wrong as I have guests at home in the evening ! Raincheck seems to be in order there ...

C U

Hendrik

Hendrik,

Just to say : Welcome on board!!

Your site is a real gold mine. I appreciate and consult it for years, now!!! Congrats!! :jumping::jumping::jumping:

Cheers.

Ch.

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Hendrik   

Thanks Christophe !

Seeing you are based in "la belle France", you might wish to have a look at the thread on the Syria-Cilicia Medal (aka the Levant Medal) ... I can do with some more information on that one ;)

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Hi Hendrik,

I've seen one about this medal in this Forum, initiated by Ed... Is it this one? I can't find yours... :blush:

Welcome again.

Cheers.

Ch.

Edited by Christophe

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Hendrik   

My latest with respect to this order : a Grand Officer breast star made by Fisch in Brussels and marked '950' silver ... used to belong to a high ranking official in the Belgian Finance Ministry.

[attachmentid=24186]

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The golden medal of The Order of Leopold II

here 2 examples with the text only in Dutch "EENDRACHT MAAKT MACHT" (it is not official)

before 1952 it was "L'UNION FAIT LA FORCE"

after 1952 "L'UNION FAIT LA FORCE - EENDRACHT MAAKT MACHT"

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Jacky   

This will be my first post to this wonderfull site...

I'm visiting this site already for quite a long time and thought that it would be time to register myself..

As a collector of belgian medals, my mouth goes watering of all those wonderfull medals.... :lol:

From a fellow I got those pictures,

this medal had been found in a junk-shop... complete with box.... bought for a very low price....

Junk or real??

Give me your 2 cents..

I myself consider this a quite ugly example...

The gold laurels around the cross are upside down...

The cross and the laurels are glued on something and than that something is glued on the breast-star.

This can be observed between the cross and the laurels, normaliter one would be able to see the silver rays between the cross, but in this particular case, only the wavy gold disc can be seen....

At last, it's also ugly because of the bi-lingual center-disc :P

No matter with the dutch language, as I'm dutch too, but I do consider the higher quality, pre 1951 thus mono-lingual, more preferable......

And french always sounds sexier on those medals :blush::lol:

Will add more images in next post...

Couldn't attach a higher resolution on this post, it keeps on going crazy with me

Kind Regards.

Edited by Jacky

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